Extinction is a natural process; a typical species used to become extinct within 10 million years of its first appearance but these days, when the planet is bursting at the seams with over 7 billion humans, the species loss is now occurring at a rate more than 1,000 times greater than it would be without our “contribution”. Human expansion, hunting, and the destruction of natural habitats, climate changes, pollution and other factors are to blame for the loss of numerous animal species. However, on this post, we will show you 25. From the small bright Golden toad to the frightening looking Zanzibar leopard, these are 25 animals that have gone extinct within past decades.
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San Quintin kangaroo rat
Once endemic to western Baja California, Mexico, the San Quintin kangaroo rat was a small rodent living in hot deserts. Unfortunately, its natural habitat has been converted to agricultural land, which probably caused the loss of the species. Despite intensive efforts, no San Quintin kangaroo rat specimens have been found since 1986.
Sometimes also referred to as the Elephant fish, the Chinese paddlefish is among the largest freshwater fish. Uncontrolled overfishing and destruction of the species´ natural habitat made it critically endangered in the 1980s. The last confirmed sighting of the fish occurred in January 2003 on the Yangtze River, China and it’s believed to be extinct.
Once commonly found on the Indonesian island of Java, the Javan tiger was a very small subspecies of tiger. During the 20th century, the population of the island increased multiple times, leading to a massive clearing of the forests that were converted into arable land and rice fields. Pollution and poaching also contributed to the loss of the species. The Javan tiger has been extinct since 1993.
Dusky seaside sparrow
Dusky seaside sparrow was a non-migratory subspecies of the seaside sparrow, native to salt marshes of Merritt Island and along the St. Johns River, Florida. A combination of factors including intentional floods, destruction of the environment for the purpose of highway construction, usage of pesticides etc. contributed to the birds drastic population drop in the 1980’s. The very last specimen died in June 1987.
Once endemic to the Iberian Peninsula, the Pyrenean ibex was one of the four subspecies of the Spanish ibex or Iberian wild goat. In the Middle Ages, the wild goat was very abundant in the Pyrenees region but it decreased rapidly in the 19th and 20th centuries due to hunting. In the second half of the 20th century only a small population survived in the area and in 2000, the very last specimen was found dead.